Scores of residents were able to see first-hand Battle Town Council’s plans to extend and refurbish the Almonry.
The proposals were outlined in a presentation at the council’s annual parish assembly yesterday evening (Tuesday, April 23).
Battle town councillor, Margaret Kiloh, who gave the presentation, said: “The council has a duty to maintain the town’s asset and to modernise and improve the facilities and to open the Almonry more widely to the community.
“The council believes it would be a dereliction of its duty not to proceed with the refurbishment and reinstatement of the Almonry.
“The proposals have undergone due process and planning and listed building consent has been granted.
“Dependent on the final sum applied for, the costs to the local taxpayer would be £7.72 per year or 17p a week.”
The present Almonry building was originally a five bay hall house built in the 15th century.
Since then it has been partially rebuilt, added to and some parts knocked down over the centuries.
Battle Town Council said most of these changes, including the addition of chimneys, took place in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Planning approval was granted by Rother District Council to extend the Almonry by reinstating the original wing over the courtyard and reconfiguring the internal space, returning the main area to an open hall.
Following a consultation, an application was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund to fund the works, but it was unsuccessful.
The town council’s finance and general purposes committee recently recommended an application be made to the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) for £600,000 to carry out the work.
At yesterday’s parish assembly, Cllr Kiloh said: “Three-quarters of the loan requested is required towards the preservation of the building.”